The U.S. Conference of Bishops has issued a statement refuting press reports that the organization was involved in developing a report that charged Mel Gibson with anti-Semitism in his portrayal of Christ's crucifixion in his film "The Passion." As WorldNetDaily reported, earlier this week the Melbourne Herald Sun reported Gibson, a Catholic, had threatened lawsuits against both the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Anti-Defamation League over the issue. The Bishops' organization, however, says the report was created by "an independent group of scholars critiquing" the film's script. Neither the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, nor any other committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, established this group or authorized, reviewed or approved the report written by its members. The Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs knew only that the scholars' group intended to offer comments for the private consideration of the producers," the statement said.
Actor Mel Gibson, breaking his silence on his controversial film depicting the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus Christ, denied on Friday that his movie was anti-Semitic and insisted the film is "meant to inspire, not offend." Gibson's comments were contained in a statement announcing that the Roman Catholic Church has agreed to help his production company, Icon, retrieve copies of an early draft of the movie script that Icon says was obtained without permission by a "deep throat" working for an ad-hoc group of Catholic and Jewish scholars.